Mlungisi Stadium was a hive of activity on Thursday last week when 350 pupils pitched up to ball, bat and field in the KFC mini cricket festival.
It was the regional leg of the festival hosted by Chris Hani West region. 27 schools participated. The festival was for both boys and girls who competed in U9 and U12 categories.
The children were introduced to the sport of cricket and were taught basics like fielding, types of bowling and batting techniques. They then underwent trials and 50 were chosen to go the provincials.
Chris Hani West schools committee chairperson, Mfundo Siyo, said the mini cricket festivals were very important in developing cricket in the province as well as the country. He said pupils who started the sport early had a chance to make it into professional teams.
In attendance was Border Cricket representive Mnoneli Mfenqe, the co-ordinator. Representatives of the department of sport, recreation, arts and culture also attended, along with the Sada, Mlungisi and Ezibeleni circuit management committees.
Siyo said the day was fantastic and the children had enjoyed themselves. “It was a fun day for the children. Many showed interest in learning cricket,” said Siyo.
He also expressed appreciation to the different structures which attended and partnered to make the day a success. “We thank the parents and teachers who came out and made the day a success and non-teaching staff who were here to help coach the children. It was unfortunate that we did not have Viwe Yawa here this year. Their contribution as coaches from the local clubs is immense,” he said.
The provincial leg of the tournament, hosted by Border, will be at Dale College in King William’s Town on October 25.